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Death by Dickens    edited by Anne Perry order for
Death by Dickens
by Anne Perry
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by Nina de Angeli

Newly re-imagined versions of Mr. Pickwick, Miss Havisham, Scrooge, and other familiar characters from the novels of Charles Dickens enliven the eleven stories in this anthology. They range from thoughtful pastiches of the great master to a hip modern Scrooge, the authors' styles varying from light romance to high drama.

Two of the most memorable pieces were Lillian Stewart Carl's tale of an adult Tiny Tim playing sleuth to track down the identities of Scrooge's three Christmas ghosts, and Carole Nelson Douglas's hilariously updated Christmas Carol with Scrooge as a nerdy financial officer caught in an accounting scandal at a megacorporation in Texas.

Bill Crider gives us a droll story of Mr. Pickwick's encounter with grave robbers named Mangle, Miggs, Pooch, and Snubb. Gillian Linscott's tale reveals a dark secret from Pickwick's youth. Carolyn Wheat uses Miss Havisham's solicitor Jaggers to defend a murderess, while Marcia Talley revisits Pip and Estella years after Miss Havisham's death, encountering a resurrected villain from their past. Anne Perry's own contribution takes us back to an early adventure of Sidney Carton with Robespierre in revolutionary Paris.

Skillful collaboration between the ghosts of Dickens past and some of the best current mystery authors make this anthology a thoroughly enjoyable read.

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